Girls guard the wickets at the CMA Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School Inter-house Girls Cricket Competition

By Ariel Conant

Strength and hard work went head-to-head on the pitch, when Fortitude House faced off against Diligence House in a battle for the championship

By Ariel Conant |

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Nimra and Emma have both fallen in love with the game.

It was a tight battle at the CMA Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School Inter-house Girls' Cricket Competition.

Fortitude House were led by their rising star Nimra, 15. Despite only having played cricket for five months, Nimra has fallen in love with the sport, especially batting. She says she loves the thrill of hitting the ball, but finds it challenging when facing a fast bowler. And although her teammates and coach recognise her skills as a player, Nimra remains modest.

"I do not think I am the star on my team," she admits. "The coach said I am good, but I don't think so."

Diligence House, however, have their own star - batter and wicketkeeper Emma Yau Ka-lam, 17. She's also new to cricket, and was first introduced to the sport during the school's PE lessons. Once she learned the rules, she wanted to play more, and so was very happy when the inter-house teams were formed.

Just as her House name suggests, Emma is focused only on the task at hand when it comes to playing in a match. "I don't think of anything while I'm playing," she says. "Only that I'm the keeper, I have to catch the ball."

The big championship between the two teams was held on June 1. When Fortitude's Nimra batted, she edged the ball, and was caught by Emma. Fans on the sidelines didn't think Nimra had touched the ball, and were surprised when umpire and coach Mohammad Zafaran Ali ruled her out "caught behind".

As Nimra left the pitch, all Fortitude could do was hope that they would work up a good enough score to give them the win. It was up to Emma and Diligence to take the fight to their opponents.

As Diligence gained on Fortitude, both sides watched with bated breath. Fortitude had the advantage, but Diligence closed the gap quickly. However, despite a valiant effort, Diligence lost by one run, with Fortitude taking the title with a final score of 18 to 17.